‘Yellowstone”s OG Band Whiskey Myers Explain How Kevin Costner Series Provided a Lift
When you begin to ask Google a question about Whiskey Myers, the auto-filled options are informative and hilarious. The six-piece band was rocking long before appearing on Season 1of Yellowstone (four studio albums, including one that debuted in the Top 5 on Billboard's Country Album Chart), but the Kevin Costner series amplified their existence.
Apparently, many fans of the show were impressed with the group's performance of a song called "Stone" during a romantic scene between Rip Wheeler and Beth Dutton (their slow dance in Ep. 4), so they asked Google if Whiskey Myers was real.
"Well, we're real. For sure," guitarist John Jeffers says, offering a patient smile. "And we are a band. We operate like a band. Whiskey Myers is not a guy. That is not the singer. It's just a band."
The Cody Cannon-fronted Texas country-rock group drop their new Tornillo album on July 29, and since they were Yellowstone before Yellowstone was cool — quite literally, as you'll soon see — they agreed to join the Dutton Rules podcast to talk about how the show helped them.
Jeffers also describes the rollercoaster ride they all took between albums: The TL;DR version of that is they released their self-titled album to great acclaim in 2019, then a bunch of real complicated stuff happened, then they dropped Tornillo. Look for that story on Taste of Country on Friday.
The following Q&A is a portion of Jeffers' conversation with Dutton Rules co-host Billy Dukes, with questions edited for clarity.
Taste of Country: How big of a lift was it to appear on Yellowstone?
John Jeffers: Our mindset going into it was, "Oh, that's cool. Yeah, we're down to do that. We're open to do whatever." And then they're like, "Well Kevin Costner is in it" and we're like, "Oh s--t, that's pretty cool too." We didn't think a whole lot about it. We just thought we were going to go play on a show and it was going to be fun. But we didn't know how big the show would be. It opened us up to a whole new group of people that have never been exposed to our music.
Did you level up in terms of the size of venues you could play?
We did. Like I said, we've always been fortunate to be on this level in our career, so that just kept it in stride. Bigger venues, more markets and the exposure it gave to national people that typically don't hear us.
You had two songs on Season 1, Ep. 4: "Frogman" and "Stone," which is when Beth and Rip were slow dancing. The show wasn't even a thing when you filmed because it was all in pre-production. There'd have been no way of knowing what you were getting yourself into.
No. We had no clue. Like I said, we just thought it was going to be a show. We went into it like, "Yeah it sounds cool." We didn't expect to have any sort of positive reaction. We know there wouldn't be a negative reaction. I think it's just right timing and the right moments and the right song in the right place.
Did you interact with Cole Hauser or Kelly Reilly?
Oh yeah. Cole and Kelly. We interacted with all of them. We didn't meet Kevin. That was about a 12 or 13 hour shoot for that small — I think it was like a four-minute scene or something like that. We found a new respect for actors and actresses.
Were you pretend playing in the background? Is that how it works?
That is how it works, and we were doing that at first and eventually we told the director Taylor (Sheridan) and some of the producers we do a lot better job if we're actually playing. Long story short, we actually played for eight or nine of those hours.